My social media notes on the environment

October 23, 2019 by Joshua
in Blog

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I’m commenting on threads on the environment in various social media outlets, partly to participate, partly to practice. First-time posts new ideas and views often provoke argument and criticism, so I find it useful to refine my thoughts.

My goals with new ideas is to help lead based on one of my definitions of leadership: to help people do what they wanted but couldn’t figure out how to.

I think I offer value.

For this sad video

I wrote:

The number one priority has to be stopping virgin production.

Recycling hasn’t been shown to stop virgin production so we should do it, but secondarily to reducing production. Of course we all already know reduce, reuse, recycle in that order, with many adding refuse in front.

That will take legislation with teeth and verification. The fastest most effective way for legislation is for everyone, from consumers to shopowners etc, to stop buying the products. When Coca-Cola and friends have warehouses full of inventory no one will buy, they’ll resist legislation less. It’s not about blame but responsibility for what everyone can do immediately.

Almost no one needs to buy any bottled beverage again. If you’re in Flint or a place where you can’t drink the water, there are exceptions, but the overwhelming majority need never buy a bottle ever again for any reason. Humans lived on water after mother’s milk only for hundreds of thousands of years.

Most of us can drop our food packaging by 75% or so while saving money, saving time, and increasing accessibility for people in food deserts. I dropped mine about 90% and found the change saved money and time while tasting better and leading to more social interaction. Here’s a video of me the first time I crossed a year without emptying the garbage.

When someone wrote that it looked like a glacier, I responded

Glaciers are beautiful. More like a shitload, though even shit you can compost. There’s just nothing like this self-inflicted horror. Maybe that’s it: it’s a horror show.

On a thread on an article America Misled: How the Fossil Fuel Industry Deliberately Misled Americans About Climate Change, I wrote:

I hope justice is served with Exxon, but I also hope people motivate personal change by realizing that most of us did what Exxon did in the same time period on an individual level.

Growing up in the 70s, I heard about sea level rise and global warming. Nearly everyone I know flies (and eats meat, drives, etc) more than necessary for their profit and pleasure and all the things they know contribute, using excuses similar to Exxon’s but translated for themselves.

Anyone who makes excuses for the emissions that puts Americans (and likely your country if you aren’t American) so high up in emissions — if we think Exxon should change, shouldn’t we?

In this quote, substitute for “Fossil fuel industry” and “Exxon”, “we” and see how well it fits. I’m not talking about blame but taking responsibility for change now.

Scientists have known for decades that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change. There is so much evidence that at least 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. It’s as settled as the link between smoking and cancer.

The fossil fuel industry has known about the role of its products in global warming for 60 years. Exxon’s own scientists warned their managers 40 years ago of “potentially catastrophic events”. Yet rather than alerting the public or taking action, these companies have spent the past few decades pouring millions of dollars into disinformation campaigns designed to delay action. All the while, the science is clear that climate-catalyzed damages have worsened, storms have intensified, and droughts and heatwaves have become more frequent and severe, while forests have been damaged and wildfires have burned through the country.

On this article How Coca-Cola Undermines Plastic Recycling Efforts, I wrote:

The irony is that packaged goods companies generally promote and love recycling because it distracts from reducing, as in reduce, reuse, recycle. Getting people to think recycling helps, rather than mildly mitigates pollution, keeps their sales up.

Since their products are nearly all unhealthy and all pollute, “reduce” suggests we all benefit from no one buying their products at all. If they thought about how environmental concerns will affect them, they’d promote recycling wholeheartedly, not half.

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